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Art and health blossoms

May 2011

Arts, Health & Wellbeing Project: Orange Health Service Bloomfield Campus

The Orange Health Service has developed a long term Art and Health Strategy using participatory art projects - art incorporated into health facility design and exhibiting art and performance - to bridge the gap between the health service and the community and increase access to health care.

This project aims to engage the community, facilitate pride and ownership and increase understanding of issues such as stigma around mental health.

This is a project of the Orange Health Service - which is, the general hospital and mental health services now co- located on the on the one site - the Bloomfield Hospital Campus.

The projects developed to date include:

Lachlan Building - Terrazzo
Community workshops were held to design and create 53 terrazzo pavers which together made the Lachlan River themed artwork representing an aerial view of the river from Cowra to Lake Cargelligo. These pavers have been installed in the courtyards of the Lachlan Building, the new Acute Mental Health Facility.

Adolescent Mental Health Unit Courtyard - Terrazzo
Following workshops with young people and research into colours and shapes that produce a calming affect, artists worked together with volunteers from the community and mental health staff to create a terrazzo artwork for the Adolescent Mental Health Courtyard in the new general hospital.

Aboriginal Gathering Space - Terrazzo
Workshops with the Aboriginal community resulted in the design of eleven animal totems from the region. The pavers were created through community workshops and they will be placed in the Aboriginal Gathering Space located in the grounds of the new general hospital.

Weaving Wellbeing Project
Through community workshops the design theme of the Flora and Fauna of the Central West of NSW was chosen as inspiration for these large installation. Workshops in Orange and Condobolin offered the community an opportunity to learn traditional Aboriginal weaving techniques through West Women Weaving to create the woven elements for the artworks. Artists worked together with community members to create 16 metal structures to support the stunning artworks which will now be installed in the main courtyard of the new hospital.

Cubism
Following a call for expressions of interest from regional artists, new and original laser cut designs will be fixed to a series of stainless steel cubes in the courtyards and gardens of the new general hospital. The designs were developed by local artists Aileen Francis, Maryn Hellmich, Heidi Lefebvre and Sally Watson. The Orange Regional Arts Foundation contributed funding to this project.

Background

Through a partnership with a mental health consumer organisation, the production of much of the artwork took place at the O'Brien Centre on the Bloomfield Campus. Other pieces have been created by community members in Condobolin, Forbes, Parkes, Wellington and Bathurst. As well as community members, clinicians and community agencies brought their clients to participate in the workshops, learn the skills and contribute to making the artworks.

A combined health and community committee provided oversight for the project, with representation from Orange City Council, Arts OutWest, the Local Aboriginal Lands Council, Taste Orange, Orange Heath Council and the Mental Health Community Reference Committee.

The terrazzo works for the Aboriginal Gathering Space and the woven sculptures for the hospital developed through the Weaving Wellbieng project were made possible through funding from the Australia Council for the Arts the first stage of the Weaving Wellbeing project was also funded by the Commonwealth Government's Regional Arts Fund.

The Bloomfield Hospital Campus is part of the Western NSW Local Health District (formally Greater Western Area Health Service).

For further information contact Meg Simpson Ph: 02 63 607 857 or meg.simpson@gwahs.health.nsw.gov.au

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Arts OutWest is the regional arts board of Central West NSW servicing the local government areas of Bathurst Region, Blayney, Cabonne, Cowra, Forbes, Lachlan, Lithgow, Oberon, Orange, Parkes, Weddin and Wellington. Arts OutWest is supported by Arts NSW and Charles Sturt University.

The Arts OutWest region is Wiradjuri country.

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